AUGUST 2014 Newsletter

Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
AUGUST 2014 Newsletter
The Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS) meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm. All meetings
are held in the South Theater of the NCSU CVM campus library (North Carolina State University - College of
Veterinary Medicine) located at 4700 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, North Carolina 27607 (USA). Agendas
begin with introductions, followed by a discussion of assorted business topics, then by a program of interest to
the membership, and conclude with a ticket raffle and silent auction of fish, plants, and equipment/supplies.
Complimentary light refreshments are provided and guests are always welcome. For more information, visit us
at http://www.raleighaquariumsociety.org/ or e-mail [email protected] You can also find us
on YAHOO (www.groups.yahoo.com/raleighaquariumsociety), MEETUP (www.meetup.com/raleigh-aquariumsociety), and FACEBOOK (www.facebook.com/raleighaquariumsociety). RAS is a member in good standing of
FAAS (the Federation of American Aquarium Societies) with a mission to increase the knowledge, enjoyment,
and conservation of home ponds & aquariums for aquarist hobbyists/professionals at all levels of experience.
NOTE: RAS club meetings are held in the South Theater of the NCSU Veterinary School Library,
downstairs level. Park across the street and enter via the main library lobby no later than 8:00 pm.
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 1 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Table of Contents:
Table of Contents: ................................................................................................................................. 2
August 2014 Program (8/7/14 @ 7:30pm) – “You Betta, You Betta, You Bet!”: ..................................... 2
RAS Club Officers and Committee Chairs: ........................................................................................... 3
From the Fishing Desk: ......................................................................................................................... 3
RAS 2014 Calendar of Events: ............................................................................................................. 4
Fishy Business: ..................................................................................................................................... 5
Proposal Status .......................................................................................................................... 5
Fish & Trips: .......................................................................................................................................... 5
August Roadtrip .......................................................................................................................... 5
Fish Action: ........................................................................................................................................... 6
July 2014 Silent Auction (SA) Report.......................................................................................... 6
July 2014 Breeder’s Award Program (BAP) Report .................................................................... 6
Fish Market: .......................................................................................................................................... 7
Fish Posts: ............................................................................................................................................ 8
Something in the Ocean is Eating Great White Sharks .............................................................. 8
Great White Shark Becomes First Known to Cross Atlantic ....................................................... 9
Goblin Shark Caught in Gulf Of Mexico is a Definite Rarity ...................................................... 10
Whale Shark About to Eat Diver? ............................................................................................. 11
RAS Summer Picnic, Native Collecting, and Stream Cleanup Pictures .................................... 12
Fish References: ................................................................................................................................. 13
Fish School: ........................................................................................................................................ 14
Fish Tales: ........................................................................................................................................... 18
Into The Deep: A Survey of Freshwater Sharks ........................................................................ 18
”SoMeThInG’s PhIsHy”: ...................................................................................................................... 21
Go Fish!: ............................................................................................................................................. 22
RAS Sponsors:.................................................................................................................................... 23
RAS Membership Application:............................................................................................................. 24
August 2014 Program (8/7/14 @ 7:30pm) –
“You Betta, You Betta, You Bet!”:
In August, longtime RAS friend and vendor Josh Wiegert from Batfish Aquatics in Takoma Park,
Maryland, will travel down to see us and present a program on one of his favorite fish, betta spledens.
Bettas, or Siamese fighting fish, have become a common staple in the hobby, with many websites,
magazines, and shows dedicated solely to them. Even Wal-Mart carries them! Josh will cover the
species from all angles, including their selection, care, and breeding, and he will also bring some of
his excellent private stock for us to peruse and purchase. Bring all your questions as Josh is certainly
an expert on these fish. We hope to see you there!
Keep those raffle/silent auction items coming in! You can get up to 3 free tickets when you donate up
to 3 items for the monthly raffle. Visit our raffle chairman before each meeting to drop off donations.
Also, if you have non-raffle fish/plants for the silent auction, see our silent auction chairpersons (you’ll
get a portion of the proceeds as per our auction policy). We’re always looking for great programs to
educate our membership on ordinary and not-so-ordinary aquatic-related topics. If you’d like to be a
speaker at any of our upcoming meetings, contact our program chairman so you can get scheduled.
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 2 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
RAS Club Officers and Committee Chairs:
President:
Vice-President and Vendor Coordinator:
Secretary and Newsletter Editor:
Treasurer and BAP Chairman:
Past President and Program Chairman:
Frank Montillo [fmontillo @ aol.com]
Jon Haddad [jhaddad88 @ comcast.net]
Michael Maieli [michaelmaieli @ aol.com]
Larry Jinks [bapman13 @ hotmail.com]
Todd Wenzel [wenzelt @ netzero.net]
Workshop/Auction Chairman:
Monthly Raffle Chairman:
Monthly Silent Auction Chairpersons:
Field Trip Coordinator:
Utility Chairpersons:
Yahoo Groups/Forum Administrator:
Webmaster:
Chris Smith [ctyank @ frontier.com]
Robert Sanderford [onearmr @ gmail.com]
Richard Poole and Maggie Poole
Jeremy Maciejewski [jjmaciej @ yahoo.com]
Jeff Jenkins and Emily Hirtle
Gerald Pottern [gbpottern @ yahoo.com]
Walter Wu [chunker.geo @ yahoo.com]
From the Fishing Desk:
For nearly 2 decades, the Discovery Channel on cable television has reserved a week in August to air
shows specifically and solely on sharks. These programs have been extremely popular, ranging from
the dramatic to the mundane, the facts versus the fiction, exploration, conservation, communication,
etc. Understanding these magnificent fish and their place in the ecosystem helps reduce the fear and
enhance the wonder. So, this issue of the newsletter is all about sharks; the ones you can keep in
your aquariums and the ones you can’t. Nonetheless, our 3 excellent state aquariums on the coast
have tankloads of the ones you can’t, in case you were interested in seeing some this summer.
Don’t forget that the final draft copy of RAS’s proposed new bylaws are on the club website until
September to solicit member feedback. Your voice counts! Let us know what you think. Also, RAS will
have its semi-annual (summer) auction at the NC State Fairgrounds on September 14, 2014.
Membership dues are $20.00 per calendar year, starting each January. This is a per-family price. Prorated fees for joining at other times are listed on our application form (last page of every newsletter).
Kindly remit your dues in person to the Club Treasurer or by mail to POB 31564, Raleigh, NC 27612.
Contributions to this newsletter are always welcome. This includes business/technical articles, items
to buy/sell/trade/donate, activity updates, forum posts, trip reports, classes, job openings, etc. Submit
news softcopy via e-mail or hardcopy via our P.O.B. When submitting any type of communication to
us, please include your full name, phone number, and e-mail address. Monthly newsletters are
published about a week prior to each regular club meeting and sent blindcopy to your e-mail address
on file. If you have any updates to your contact information (including subscription removal), or
questions/comments/concerns about our web page, newsletter, forum, MEETUP page (join us on
MEETUP!), or FACEBOOK page (like us on FACEBOOK!), please contact the club secretary. FYI,
last month’s find the hidden RAS logo was contained in the “Fish School” section. A final note should
be made about the locations we use at the NCSU Vet School for any of our meetings - please keep in
mind that we are guests of this excellent and generous facility and must treat the room, its furniture,
and all equipment in a responsible manner. Direct any questions/problems that you may have to the
club secretary for resolution. Thank you for your responsible actions.
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 3 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
RAS 2014 Calendar of Events:
Club Meetings Board Mtgs. W.S./Auctions Fish Food
Field Trips
Other
th
st
th
January
9
31
18 (AJ)
th
th
th
th
February
6
13
14 -16
14th
March
13th
1st - 2nd (AM)
29th
6th
April
3rd
17th
19th (FT)
st
th
th
May
1
15
17 ([email protected])
th
th
June
5
19
5th – 9th (NANFA)
rd
th
th
July
3
17
19
11th – 13th (ACA) 19th
August
7th
14th
16th (FT)
September
4th
18th
14th
nd
th
October
16
2
November
6th
13th
December
4th
18th
4th
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 4 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Fishy Business:
<Information of interest to the membership regarding recent club board meetings and business.>
Proposal Status
By Michael V. Maieli
The latest RAS board meeting was held at 7:30pm on 7/17/14 at the NCSU CVM library in Raleigh.
Any club member can attend any meeting at any time to provide any input on any item of business.
Board meetings normally occur on the 3rd Thursday of each month (same time/location as club
meetings), but check with the club secretary for exact schedule details of upcoming meetings.
Proposals/actions discussed but not yet decided upon or FYI items include:
• Remaining 2014 RAS meeting program schedule (contact = T. Wenzel).
• January 2015 meeting will be held on second Thursday [January 8] (contact = F. Montillo).
Proposals/actions passed include:
• Treasurer’s report (contact = L. Jinks).
• RAS bylaws complete - on club’s website for review until September (contact = RAS board).
• RAS logistics for Summer Picnic on 7/19/14 @ Umstead, order #2-9218990 (contact = M. Maieli).
• RAS logistics for Adopt-A-Stream cleanup on 7/19/14 @ Leadmine Creek (contact = M. Maieli).
• RAS logistics for Summer Auction on 9/14/14 [food, etc.] (contact = C. Smith).
• RAS logistics for Winter Workshop [finalizing speaker list, speaker gifts, venue, dates, donations,
etc.] (contact = C. Smith and G. Pottern).
• 78 pounds of frozen food order scheduled for September (contact = L. Jinks).
Proposals/actions denied include:
• None.
Fish & Trips:
August Roadtrip
By Jeremy Maciejewski
In August, we’re thinking about traveling to Charlotte to visit Fintastic, one of our club sponsors. The
day of choice right now is Saturday, August 16. Is anyone interested? If so, let us know by sending us
a note to the club’s email address.
We’re always looking for fun places to go (aquariums, pet shops, fish clubs, etc.; {trips require a 5
person minimum), neat things to do (collecting trips, ark projects, community volunteering, etc.), or
interesting people to see (meetups, parties, socials, etc.). If you have any suggestions, please contact
Jeremy by phone (919)740-4067 or e-mail [email protected]
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 5 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Fish Action:
July 2014 Silent Auction (SA) Report
By Larry Jinks
The July silent auction featured catfish, barbs, danios, new and old world cichlids, plants, live food
and manufacturer’s donated dry goods. A total of 7 club members bid on 12 donated lots. The highest
bid went to some Corydoras stenocephalus catfish donated by club president Frank Montillo.
Through the monthly silent auction, quality livestock and plants are provided to the membership at
reasonable prices which enables the membership to try working with new species of fish and plants
that they won’t see at local shops. If you have any extra fish, plants or aquatic items, please consider
a donation to the silent auction to help build our treasury. The silent auction form will be posted on the
website to allow members to save time by downloading the forms and filling them out before the
meeting. See Rich or Maggie Poole at the meeting to enter items in the silent auction and check the
tables in the back at meetings for more aquatic treasures.
July 2014 Breeder’s Award Program (BAP) Report
By Larry Jinks
The July meeting yielded only one entry, albeit a significant one, as Frank Montillo regained the lead
in the “Breeder of the Year” standings. Frank entered livebearing Phalloceros caudimaculatus to
move ahead of BAP chairman Larry Jinks. The deadline for entries for the BAP award is the
November meeting with the plaque being awarded at our December holiday party meeting.
Through the BAP, RAS offers quality livestock to our members at reasonable prices. Anyone wanting
to join should contact chairman Larry Jinks at meetings or e-mail him at [email protected]
BAP standings are posted here and on the website along with rules and entry forms. Participants
don’t need to have anyone come to their house; just bring in 6 fry at least 60 days old to a meeting
with a completed form for credit. You can also get credit by entering the fish in the monthly silent
auction or semi-annual auction, donate them to the raffle, write a newsletter article on the fish
spawning, or present a meeting program on your experiences.
Annual BAP Standings (as of 8/1/14)
1. Frank Montillo
= 165
2. Larry Jinks
= 160
3. Elvin Eaton
= 45
4. Dan Koenig
= 40
5. Ben Guardiola
= 30
. Lauren Layton
= 30
7. Todd Wenzel
= 10
8. Justin Ho
= 10
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
Cumulative BAP Standings (as of 8/1/14)
1. Larry Jinks
= 1270
2. Todd Wenzel
= 685
3. Frank Montillo
= 590
4. Neil Frank
= 300
5. Eric Hanneman
= 250
6. Gerald Pottern
= 230
7. Dave Herlong
= 120
8. Dan Koenig
= 60
9. Ben Guardiola
= 55
10. Elvin Eaton
= 45
11. Phil Lamonds
= 30
. Lauren Layton
= 30
13. Allan O’Briant
= 10
. Justin Ho
= 10
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 6 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Fish Market:
<Contact the Club Secretary or enter an on-line forum post to list items in this section. When
submitting, whether it be via hard-copy, an e-mail or a forum post, please include your entire contact
information (full name, phone number, and e-mail address) to ensure accurate and timely feedback.>
•
FOR SALE: RAS-logo’ed items; various types of shirts, hats, jackets, towels, soft briefcases, etc.
Contact Queensboro Apparel Company [http://raleighaquariumsociety.qbstores.com/]. {never expires}
•
FOR SALE: Blackworms; @ $15.00/pound or $8.00/half pound. Delivery mechanism varies (call or
send e-mail). Contact Gerald Pottern [(919)556-8845 or [email protected]]. {never expires}
•
FREE: RAS bumper stickers; 6” oval, black print on white background, can be removed and
reapplied. Contact Michael Maieli [(919)848-3053 or [email protected]]. {never expires}
•
WANTED: Back issues of assorted tropical fish, plant, pond, or aquarium hobbyist magazines and
literature. Contact Todd Wenzel [(919)791-7352 or [email protected]]. {never expires}
•
WANTED: Unwanted aquarium fish; don’t flush, rehome them! Contact NC Fish Rescue in Winston
Salem. [http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fish-Rescue-Of-NC/261786897257532]. {never expires}
•
WANTED: Angelfish contact; I want to get in touch with a breeder or someone knowledgeable on
angelfish. Contact Maggie Poole [(919)556-2638 or [email protected]] {expires 8/31/14}
•
FOR TRADE: Heterandria formosa; my colony is doing well and I have 30 juveniles to adults, I’ll trade
for livebearers. Contact Dan Koenig [(919)819-4713 or [email protected]] {expires 8/31/14}
•
FOR SALE: 30 gallon tank and complete setup (stand, filters, heaters, etc.); Contact Dena Lowry
[(919)235-2423 or [email protected]] {expires 8/31/14}
•
WANTED: 100 gallon (or larger) tank setup with the normal accessories needed to raise tropical fish.
Contact Sarah Morgan [(919)417-2974 or [email protected]] {expires 9/30/14}
•
WANTED: Fancy guppies; any color scheme. Will trade for black, gray, or white convicts. Contact
Michael Maieli [(919)848-3053 or [email protected]]. {expires 9/30/14}
•
WANTED: Large aquarium (75g or 90g); 48” face with “designer” stand and hood. Contact Doc
Thorne [(919)467-1454 or [email protected] ] {expires 9/30/14}
•
FOR SALE: Philippine blue angelfish; young and small, between ½” and ¾”, $2.00 - $3.00 each.
Contact Julie Zeppieri [(704)884-6859 or [email protected] {expires 10/31/14]
•
FOR SALE: Bettas in many varieties/colors; direct shipping to your home. Contact Joshua Wiegert
[(540)287-5028 or [email protected]] {expires 10/31/14}
•
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 7 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Fish Posts:
<Assorted aquatic-related current snippets of Info regarding recent club forum discussion threads,
hobbyist or manufacturer web blogs/sites, RAS e-mail, RAS snail mail, or other published materials.>
Something in the Ocean is Eating Great White Sharks
By staff writers, Smithsonia Travel magazine
Ever since the movie "Jaws" popularized great white sharks as predatory man-killers, people have
had misconceptions about these magnificent animals. That is why researchers have been doing
everything they can possibly do to learn about these fish before they are hunted out to extinction.
Whether you're frightened of them or not, it's still unfortunate to learn that one less great white exists
now. Researchers were tagging great whites to study their movements. In the process, they tagged a
nine-foot female, who left the area safely. Four months later, her tag was found on a beach near
where she was first caught and the data tells a very interesting story. "It showed a profile going down
the continental shelf to 580 meters, then a huge temperature change, and then an encounter with
another living animal," said a Smithsonian researcher. It appears the 9 foot great white was eaten.
The big question? What ate her? Whatever it was, it had to be big enough to swallow this large apex
predator, and quick enough to drag it almost 2,000 feet in a few seconds. So, what is it? A giant
squid? Godzilla? A Megalodon? Well, actually, that last one is not too far off from the real theory. The
Megalodon was a prehistoric shark, much like a great white, but 60-feet long. Researchers don't
actually believe it was a Megalodon, but they do think it was a giant shark: a great white about 16-feet
long which weighed over 4,000 lbs. This deduction came from studying the migratory patterns of other
great whites that happened to be in the same area as the missing shark with matching body
temperatures. Still, that is just a hypothesis for now. They still don't know for sure what ate it.
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 8 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Great White Shark Becomes First Known to Cross Atlantic
By Pete Thomas, AOL News staff writer
A tagged great white shark named Lydia became the first known white shark to swim across the
Atlantic Ocean recently. The 2000-pound female shark, which was tagged by Ocearch scientists in
March off Jacksonville, Florida, crossed the mid-Atlantic ridge, officially entering the eastern Atlantic.
John Chisholm at the Massachusetts Shark Research Program said this was a “truly momentous
occasion as Lydia has etched her place in the history of Atlantic white shark research and showed the
power and value of SPOT tagging. She is singlehandedly raising awareness around the world.”
Added Bob Hueter of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium: “Lydia’s remarkable trans-ocean
journey reminds us that no one locality, state, or nation owns these remarkable migrators of the sea. If
we are to save the sharks, we have an obligation not only to protect them in our waters, but also to
work with other countries towards global conservation of sharks.” Lydia, one of several white sharks
fitted with SPOT tags in an attempt by Ocearch researchers to learn more about their movements,
had traveled nearly 19,000 miles in various directions since she was tagged. As it became clear that
Lydia was approaching Europe and the mid-Atlantic Ridge, scientist Heather Marshall stated: “Lydia
continues to surprise and impress all of us following along, with her initial run and impressive
navigation to Bermuda last spring, followed by a sustained amount of time in cold water in Canada,
and now her continued movements east across the Atlantic, have highlighted the incredible migratory
ability and physiology of these sharks.” Though this marks the first time a great white is known to
have crossed the Atlantic, either west to east or east to west, the apex predators are known to travel
great distances. A great white nicknamed “Nicole” was tracked swimming from South Africa to
Australia and back (more than 12,000 miles) over a span of nine months in 2003 to 2004. Adult great
white sharks off California and Mexico, it was discovered over the past decade, routinely travel as far
west as Hawaii during the spring, before returning to their fall and winter feeding grounds at coastal
and island seal rookeries. While it remains unclear where Lydia is going, Skomal did not rule out a
voyage into the Mediterranean or along the coast of Africa.
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 9 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Goblin Shark Caught in Gulf Of Mexico is a Definite Rarity
By David Strege, Yahoo News staff writer
A shrimp fisherman off the Florida Keys made a rare catch in his net recently, pulling up one of the
world’s ugliest sea creatures and rarest species of shark. In the net full of red shrimp was an 18-foot
goblin shark, a bottom-dwelling shark rarely seen at the surface or in shallow coastal waters (and
extremely rare to the Gulf of Mexico), so much so that the scientific community was abuzz with
amazement over the catch. NOAA Fisheries Service reported that it was only the second goblin shark
of record in the Gulf of Mexico. The first was captured on July 25, 2000, by commercial fishermen in
more than 3,000 feet of water. The unusual by-catch was that of commercial fisherman Carl Moore,
who had brought in his net from more than 2,000 feet of water, according to David Shiffman of
Southern Fried Science. The 18-foot goblin shark caught in shrimp fisherman’s net. “I didn’t even
know what it was,” Moore told the Houston Chronicle. “I didn’t get the tape measure out because that
thing’s got some wicked teeth, they could do some damage.” So Moore instead took photos of the
beast, winched it over the side of the boat, and released the bizarre-looking fish, which swam away.
Scientists were grateful the prehistoric-looking goblin shark was released alive, but disappointed over
not being able to examine it and learn more about it. “We don’t even know how old they get or how
fast they grow,” NOAA shark expert John Carlson told the Chronicle. Carlson called the catch great
news. “This is only the second confirmed sighting in the Gulf; the majority of specimens are found off
Japan or in the Indian Ocean and around South Africa,” Carlson said. Moore, who called the catch the
highlight of his 50 years of shrimp fishing, said NOAA told him that “I’m probably one of the only 10
people who’ve seen one of these alive.” Moore also offered one of the more humorous descriptions of
the goblin shark to a NOAA scientist, saying, “It was uglier than my mother-in-law”. According to the
department of Ichthyology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, goblin sharks (also known as
elfin sharks) are widely distributed globally, though few are caught because of their deep-water
residence. They are mostly found near continental slopes in 885 to 3,149 feet of water. They have
been observed as deep as 4,265 feet and as shallow as 311 feet. Goblin sharks are said to be the
only living member of the Mitsukurinidae family, a lineage said to be 125 million years old. Obviously
they are distinct for their unusual head, with an elongated, flattened snout and protruding jaw with
sharp rows of teeth. “I love them because they’re pink, they’re mysterious, and they live deep among
other cool creatures,” marine biologist Charlotte Stenberg told Southern Fried Science. “I know many
people think that they are ugly, but that just makes me love them more.”
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 10 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Whale Shark About to Eat Diver?
By David Strege, Yahoo News staff writer
Marine biologist Simon Pierce, who studies whale sharks, happened to be in the right place at the
right time to capture amazing photo off Cancun, Mexico. Pierce was diving off Isla Murjeres in Mexico
when he happened to capture an image of a whale shark about to consume another diver, swimming
near the surface with a snorkel. Or at least that’s what appears to be unfolding. Pierce is a marine
biologist from New Zealand who does research and conservation work on threatened marine species
with his main focus being the whale shark, the biggest fish on Earth. Whale sharks are harmless to
humans. The largest known aggregation of whale sharks in the world are in the waters off Cancun,
and on this day there were 100 whale sharks swimming in the area. “I was trying to capture the
shark’s wide-open mouth, which was rather successful in this case,” Pierce told GrindTV in an email.
“Having the swimmer there gives some perspective of their sheer size. This shark was about 26 feet
in length. I had a ‘fisheye’ lens on for this shot, which gives an extreme wide-angle view, so the shark
was probably only about a foot away from me as it passed.” With the number of whale sharks in the
area, it wasn’t a shock to see a giant mouth appear, Pierce added. Whale sharks feed on plankton
filtered through large mouths that feature 300 to 350 tiny teeth and 10 filter pads, and stretch 5 feet
wide. “As long as it’s not filled with sharp teeth, I’m pretty relaxed about it,” he said of capturing the
photo. “It may look like a dangerous situation, but it’s actually just pure fun”. Pierce is leading a whale
shark research expedition for his organization, the Marine Megafauna Foundation, and a group of
marine tourists from Aqua-Firma U.K. “My scientific work involves photo-identifying each individual
shark from their unique spots, so my camera is a vital research tool, but there are so many sharks
present that I allow myself a few more attractive images as well,” he said. Sheer size makes whale
sharks photogenic. They can reach up to 65 feet in length, weigh 66,000 pounds, likely live for more
than 100 years, dive well over a mile deep, and can be fun for divers, though some discourage the
practice of swimming near them. “Because they feed on plankton, and are often quite curious about
human swimmers, they’re a very popular subject amongst dive tourists, who can swim freely with
them”. An egg from a whale shark measuring 14 inches in diameter was found in the Gulf of Mexico
in 1953. Those giant whale shark eggs grow up to be really big sharks. Whale sharks are the largest
sharks in the world, and therefore the largest fish in the world too. The largest whale shark ever found
was 40 feet, 7 inches.
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 11 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
RAS Summer Picnic, Native Collecting, and Stream Cleanup Pictures
Posted by Michael Maieli
Despite a chance of rain, 34 adults and kids enjoyed an afternoon of food, fish, and fun at the annual
RAS summer picnic. We began our activities with a wide assortment of food brought by the club and
attendees, and then proceeded to our new Adopt-A-Stream waterway (Leadmine Creek – just 5 miles
away) to collect a variety of native fish (and some salamanders and tadpoles). We also hauled out
over 100 pounds of trash from the streambed to help clean up our local environment. This creek
feeds Shelly Lake from the west and has a constant flow. It traverses a section of the Raleigh
Greenway and is a very scenic route. Thanks to everyone who came out to help. Our next cleanup
and collecting trip at Leadmine Creek will be sometime in the fall. Hope to see you there!
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
www.raleighaquariumsociety.org
Page 12 of 24
Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
Volume 33, Issue 8
August 2014
Fish References:
<Some of the sources of information from where this newsletter draws its data. Please inform the club
secretary if any of these sources or URL’s change, are obsolete, or become irrelevant.>
[COLOR KEY TO REFERENCES: BOOKS - CATALOGS - CORPORATIONS - MAGAZINES - NEWSPAPERS - WEB SITES]
1.
About Fish Online website = http://www.aboutfishonline.com/
2.
Age Of Aquariums website = http://www.aquahobby.com/age_of_aquariums.php
3.
Aqueon Corporation = http://www.aqueonproducts.com/products/aquariums/
4.
Aquaarticles website = http://aquarticles.com/articles/index.html
5.
Aquatic Community website = http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/
6.
Bailey Brothers Aquarium Fish website = http://www.aquariumfish.net/
7.
Daily Tarheel newspaper = http://www.dailytarheel.com/
8.
Dennis Bangerter’s “Know Your Stuff: Cichlids” = http://freepdfbooks.tripod.com/downloads/cichlids.pdf
9.
Doctors Foster & Smith Aquarium Supply catalog = http://www.drsfostersmith.com/fish-supplies/pr/c/3578
10. Durham Herald Sun newspaper = http://www.heraldsun.com/news/localnews
11. Fish website = http://www.fish.com/
12. Fish Channel’s website = http://www.fishchannel.com/
13. Fishlore’s website = http://www.fishlore.com/
14. Hagen Corporation = http://usa.hagen.com/
15. New Aquarium Information website = http://www.newaquariuminformation.com/index.html
16. Pet Solutions Sales catalog = http://www.petsolutions.com/
17. Raleigh News & Observer newspaper = http://www.newsobserver.com/news/
18. Tetra Corporation = http://www.tetra-fish.com/Splash.aspx
19. Tim’s Tropical Fish & Aquariums website = http://www.tropicalfishandaquariums.com/
20. Tropical Fish Data’s website = http://www.tropicalfishdata.com/
21. Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine = http://www.tfhmagazine.com/
22. Tropical Tank’s website = http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/Fishindx/fishindx.htm
23. Wardley’s Corporation (a Hartz Company) = http://wardley.com/
24. Wildlife In North Carolina magazine = http://www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/MultimediaCenter/WildlifeinNorthCarolina.aspx
25. William Berg’s “Tropical Fish Beginner’s guide” = http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/Tropical_Fish-A_Beginners_Guide.pdf
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
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August 2014
Fish School:
<Academic aquatic information regarding biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, math, etc., in
textual, diagrammatical, graphical, or tabular format of interest to the membership. All textbook, sales,
magazine, internet, catalog, or other data is copyrighted by their respective authors/manufacturers
and listed when provided. Any included web links in this material are not operational.>
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August 2014
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Raleigh Aquarium Society (RAS)
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August 2014
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August 2014
Fish Tales:
<Assorted aquatic-related articles of information obtained from various sources (usually those listed in
the “Fish References” section). Full author and/or organizational credit is listed when provided.>
Into The Deep: A Survey of Freshwater Sharks
By Phil Purser, Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine contributing writer
A Shark for Everyone - Unlike their namesake marine predators, freshwater sharks make interesting additions to
reasonably sized tanks. For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by sharks. Sleek, swift, and
unchallenged among predators of the deep, these lithe hunters have never failed to strike me with a curious mingling of
horror and awe. All through my childhood, I yearned to house a captive shark in my 15-gallon freshwater aquarium. Of
course, I knew this was impossible—not only is a 15-gallon tank far too small to adequately house even the tiniest of
sharks, sharks are primarily saltwater animals. So there I sat, a boy of nine years old who was glad to wile away the hours
watching my minute world of mollies and platies, but still had a flair for the savage, and who desired more than anything to
own a pet shark. You can imagine my surprise, then, when during a trip to the local fish shop some weeks later, I spied a
tank bearing the label “Red Tailed Sharks: $2.99 each.” Racing up to the aquarium, I wrapped my fingers around the metal
rim of the tank and pressed my palms against the glass. Inside the tank swam two fish. Midnight black with tails of the
deepest crimson red, these two fish had all the hallmarks of true sharks: tall, rigid dorsal fins; torpedo body shape; sleek,
powerful caudal fins; and flat, knife-edged pectoral fins. But how could this be—miniature sharks living in a freshwater
aquarium? Well, the truth of the matter is that these fish were sharks in name only. The fish I encountered that day was
one of several species known in the freshwater aquarium industry as sharks. Actually closer kin to the carps than any true
seagoing predator, the freshwater sharks can make aesthetically attractive, long-lived, and highly active additions to the
freshwater aquarium, but great care should be taken when approaching any of these species for the first time, as they
may be wary, flighty, or downright hostile to their tankmates should any or all of their captive requirements go unmet. If
maintained in a habitat that offers a balance of food, territory, and hiding spaces, however, most of the freshwater sharks
can be maintained by even the most moderately skilled hobbyists. At the end of the day, it seems that the freshwater
sharks have something to offer fishkeepers at virtually all points on the experience continuum, from the beginner keeping
the hardy, benevolent rainbow shark, to the seasoned veteran who maintains a large adult black shark. Of course, the four
species described here are a mere sampling of the interesting and beautiful species of freshwater fish called “sharks,”
many of which make good aquarium specimens.
Natural History - Those of us who have been keeping them for a while may remember the red-tail sharks as members of
the genus Labeo, but taxonomists have since deemed otherwise and several species are now classified under the genus
Epalzeorhynchos. Many freshwater sharks still belong to the genus Labeo, a huge genus boasting far more species than
you’ll ever encounter in your local fish shop. A third genus of freshwater sharks is Balantiocheilos. Because of their similar
habitat requirements and generally similar dispositions, diets, and care in captivity, this article will only detail species in
these three genera. Hailing from the warm, sluggish streams and waterways of southern Asia, these freshwater sharks
have adapted in ways that are advantageous to a semi-predatory lifestyle. These fish are physically built for both speed
and slow cruising: Powerful caudal fins can provide impressive thrust to aid a shark in making shorts bursts forward in
pursuit of fleeing prey, or in long, continued marathons of swift escape from a would-be predator. Easily the fastest among
these sharks is the very popular yet nervy bala shark Balantiocheilos melanopterus. Their long, flat, rigid pectoral and
dorsal fins offer superb maneuverability and agility underwater: Should a partially hidden morsel of food catch their eye, or
should a predator’s shadow loom suddenly over the waters, these fishes’ swift pectoral fins will angle upward and, with a
swift flick of the caudal fin, steer them very quickly in the appropriate direction. Because of this adaptation, most
freshwater sharks will often adopt a fast zig-zagging escape route to elude and confuse a predator.
Feeding - All these sharks are omnivores. Employing their down-turned, carp-like mouths to rasp algae and detritus off
underwater structures, these predominately bottom-feeders can survive on a diet of plant life and minuscule invertebrates.
Their survival tactics do not end there, however, for many species of freshwater sharks—in particular, the red-tail shark
Epalzeorhynchos bicolor and the black shark Labeo chrysophekadion—are also competent hunters of larger crustaceans
and vertebrates such as fry, minnows, and small amphibians. When food is particularly scarce, red-tail sharks and black
sharks have even been known to consume the scales, fins, and skin of other fish. A hungry shark will swim beside its
intended victim and lunge suddenly sideways, inflicting a rapid series of bites on the side or finnage of the victim fish and
swallowing any bits of flesh that rasp off into its mouth. Slow-moving or docile fish species may repeatedly find themselves
victims of a series of eat-and-run attacks, for the slower fish make easy targets for the lithe and swift sharks. Most species
of freshwater sharks, as might be expected, are staunch loners that only school briefly as fry for matters of safety from
predation. As they mature, most shark species become increasingly territorial; males will violently defend their underwater
domains (usually a submerged tree stump or tangle of rotting roots jutting from a stream bank) from all comers. During the
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mating season, females may travel from one male’s domain to the next, and competition between rival males can rise to a
fever pitch. Combat between any two fish (regardless of the sex of the combatants) is also very common during feeding;
two fish that happen upon the same morsel of food will often become so entrenched in battling one another that the food
item either sinks or swims away uneaten by either shark. Adult sharks of many species (the red-tail shark, in particular)
will also greedily consume the fry and eggs of their own species, and individuals often kill or consume their own progeny.
Red-Tail Shark - Perhaps the most attractive of all the freshwater sharks available in the pet trade today is the red-tail
shark Epalzeorhynchos bicolor. As its common name suggests, this shark bears a vibrant crimson caudal fin and caudal
peduncle, which offers stark contrast to the coal- to ebony-black body and fins. The only other color on this species, which
does not occur in all specimens, is a white tip on the top of the dorsal fin. Average adult length is 4¾ inches, with
specimens 5 inches and larger being especially handsome and impressive. Captive longevity may exceed seven years.
Males are distinguishable from females only by the curvature of the dorsal fin: The male’s fin forms a sharper point at the
top, and the posterior edge of the female’s dorsal fin forms a right angle with her body. A close examination of numerous
fish should be enough to train the eye to recognize males from females. Both males and females become sexually viable
around 15 months of age or 2½ inches in length. Red-tail sharks require moderately large aquaria that afford plenty of
hideouts and foliage the shark can claim as its own. Small aquaria or those overpopulated with too many fish will not
make the best homes for E. bicolor, as such conditions only stimulate the shark’s aggressive nature. Expect your shark to
attack and kill several of its tankmates under such circumstances. This is problematic for two reasons. First of all, no
hobbyist wants to see his other livestock perish under the rasping jaws of the shark (not a quick or pretty death, I assure
you), and secondly, the shark will not always stop the attacks when the tank population is thinned-out to its liking. Once a
shark has asserted itself as the dominant fish in a community tank, it may well bully all other inhabitants to death. If,
however, the shark has ample habitat to call its own (I have found that driftwood snarls, hollow logs or caves, and/or
dense groves of living or artificial plants are favorite haunts) from the beginning, it may never give much trouble to any of
its tankmates. I do, however, recommend against housing this species with elaborately finned species such as bettas,
fancy guppies, angels, or sailfin mollies. Red-tail sharks also fare very poorly with other members of their own kind;
multiple sharks housed in the same tank will almost always fight to the death over a course of weeks or months. Superior
water conditions include pH of 6.5 to 7.4, dH to 15°, and temperatures ranging from 72° to 80°F. These sharks do best
when introduced into mature aquariums that have active cultures of nitrifying bacteria and are not prone to radical swings
in water chemistry, which can be highly detrimental to any species of freshwater shark. Bear in mind that your red-tail
shark may nibble more than a little on any live plants in your tank; Amazon swords and other large-leafed varieties are
particularly at risk. While one shark—assuming it is well fed on a diet of flakes, shrimp pellets, and freeze-dried tubifex or
bloodworms—will not usually inflict a fatal level of damage on a plant, serious nibbling can cause brown edges and
unsightly discoloration. First described by Smith in 1931, the red-tail shark is, sadly, almost certainly extinct in the wild.
Hundreds of thousands of these gorgeous fish are supplied to the pet industry every year by hatcheries and fish farms in
Thailand and Malaysia. These sharks are so popular and so aesthetically pleasing that they have been immortalized on
postage stamps in Vietnam (1984), the Ivory Coast (1981), and the Philippines (1993).
Rainbow Shark - A close cousin of the red-tail shark is the rainbow shark E. frenatus. The torpedo-like bodies of these
two species are very much alike, as are the red colors of the caudal fin, the black of the body, and the sharp-edged
finnage. They look so similar, in fact, that one is very frequently sold as the other in pet shops. Don’t be fooled, however.
Although these two sharks look very much alike, the difference in their dispositions is like night and day. A sure-fire way to
distinguish a rainbow shark from a red-tail shark is to look at the coloration of the pectoral, dorsal, and anal fins, which are
all red in the rainbow shark and black in the red-tail shark. Naturally occurring in the warm, sluggish backwaters of the
Chao Phraya, Mekong, and Xe Bang Fai Basins of southern Asia, these sharks are omnivores in the truest sense of the
word: They will graze on algae and plant matter, they will scavenge on detritus and animal carcasses, and they will prey
upon small invertebrates, fry, and amphibian eggs. Not nearly as hostile or aggressive as its red-tail cousin, the rainbow
shark fares well in community aquariums that do not have occupants boasting excessive finnage, such as bettas and
fancy guppies, as those elaborately finned and slow-moving fish are ripe targets for occasional fin nipping. Naturally a
secretive and retiring species, the rainbow shark also needs an adequate amount of hiding places, caves, and dark
retreats in which it can escape the bustle and flow of the general aquarium. Rainbow sharks also seem to take more
vegetative matter than some other shark species, so a diet rich in plant matter is definitely in order. Algae wafers and
flakes may be supplemented with zucchini. Prepare zucchini by cutting it into slices, then either freezing it for 24 hours
and thawing it, or microwaving it until tender. Both freezing and microwaving the zucchini will cause the thick cell walls to
explode (thereby making the plant feel mushy to the touch) and render it digestible by the sharks. Anchor the zucchini by
rubber-banding it to a large stone or some other firmly seated underwater decoration. Bear in mind that uneaten zucchini
will add a considerable amount of plant detritus to the tank, so superior filtration is paramount. Appropriate water
conditions for the rainbow shark consist of moderate temperatures from 73° to 80°F and a stable pH ranging from 6.6 to
7.4. This fish is particularly sensitive to radical swings in pH, so regular water changes to keep the water parameters
stable are definitely in order. Maxing out at just over 6 inches long as an adult (though it remains much more slender than
an adult red-tail shark), a rainbow shark needs appropriately sized quarters with a photoperiod consisting of equal periods
of light and dark. As is true with the red-tail shark, this species’ coloration may vary depending on the amount of lighting it
receives: Conditions that are perpetually too dark will result in the shark taking on a bleached or washed-out appearance,
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while superior lighting conditions will bring out rich red and deep black in the shark’s skin and scales. If given ample hiding
places and kept with calm, docile tankmates, the rainbow shark can make an excellent and long-lived addition to the
community tank. Despite its docile nature toward other fishes, however, this shark is best kept one per tank.
Bala Shark - The most popular of all the freshwater sharks is the unmistakable bala shark Balantiocheilos melanopterus.
Initially described by Bleeker in 1851, the bala shark is native to the lakes and clear streams of Malaysia and the
Philippines, where it may live for several years and grow to an impressive 14 inches long. As is true of the red-tail shark,
the bala shark is rapidly becoming extinct throughout many of the waterways in which it originally thrived. Wearing a
silvery coat of metallic-sheen scales and tall black-edged fins, the bala shark has enlarged eyes and reduced barbels
(which are pronounced in the red-tail, rainbow, and black sharks), which are tell-tale signs that this animal is a visual,
midlevel hunter that preys upon fish fry, swimming invertebrates, and small amphibians. These fish seldom take
vegetative matter. Unlike most other species of freshwater sharks, B. melanopterus is a semi-schooling species that tends
to congregate much more so than the previously described species. Balas is also much more tolerant of other members of
their own species in captivity, and it is even advisable that these animals be kept in small schools of three or five in the
home aquarium. Sometimes referred to as the tri-color shark, the bala shark can tolerate a much wider range of water
conditions than other sharks. A stable pH of 6.0 to 8.0 is acceptable, as are temperatures ranging from 72° to 82°F. Bala
sharks seem particularly sensitive to spikes in ammonia and other nitrogenous wastes, so regular water changes are
highly recommended. A captive diet of flakes, freeze-dried worms, and other protein-rich fare is best. Because these
animals can be extremely flighty and nervous in captivity, they are best housed in overly large environs. Smaller tanks
restrict these fish too much, causing stress and injury from the shark ramming its head into the glass wall of the tank. Care
should also be taken in approaching a tank with adult bala sharks, for these animals scare easily and can injure or even
kill themselves from dashing headlong into the glass or leaping out of the tank. Establishing a regular routine (turning the
lights on or off at a certain time and feeding on a routine basis) with these fish is an excellent way to help them adapt to
the captive conditions in your house. Tanks devoted to bala sharks are best kept in rooms that receive minimal traffic.
Black Shark - By far the largest of the commonly available freshwater sharks is the black shark. Measuring in at a
thunderous 24 inches long as an adult, this is truly a heavyweight species, and the eventual size of this fish must always
be kept in mind before considering purchase. Native to the Mekong Basin as well as the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java,
and Borneo, the black shark is an important species both as an export for the aquarium hobby and as a food fish for
market trade and consumption by locals. Unfortunately, the black shark has a very low fecundity, so it takes a long time for
damaged or depleted wild populations to regain their numbers. The head of the black shark is bulky and solid, and the
scales are large. The finnage is pronounced, and the stocky body morphology is indicative of a powerful, distanceswimming fish. This body form works great for swimming in the lakes, reservoirs, and powerful rivers in which the shark
occurs. Maintain black sharks in mature aquariums with stable pH levels from 6.0 to 7.4, and ammonia and other
nitrogenous waste levels as close to zero ppm as possible. A photoperiod of roughly equal durations of light and dark
should be regulated—like the rainbow shark, this animal’s coloration may fade to a burnt-charcoal gray when kept in
overly dark conditions, but it will deepen to a rich and even black when exposed to ample light conditions. Young
specimens also tend to be richer in coloration than older adults, who may take on a perpetual gray or silvery hue that no
longer varies based on lighting conditions. Indeed, this is a common fate of black sharks. Purchased when young due to
their stark aesthetic appeal, these fish are often discarded when, with age, they fade into dull coloration and sluggish
movements (when kept in cramped conditions and excessively small aquaria). A solid captive diet for the black shark
should include equal parts plant and animal matter: flakes and shrimp pellets supplemented with algae wafers and
prepared zucchini slices. This shark is perhaps the most dangerous to house in the company of smaller fish, as it has a bit
of the red-tail shark’s tenacity and, simply by virtue of its size and appetite, may swallow its tankmates whole! That being
said, it’s also common practice to feed large adult black sharks feeder guppies and minnows, as well as crustaceans such
as crayfish and small shrimp. A suitable aquarium setup for the black shark includes large quarters of not less than 125
gallons for a medium-sized adult fish, superior mechanical and biological filtration (I recommend powerheads and large
canister filters), and plenty of robust plants and decorations. Because a large black shark can take some pretty hefty bites
out of their leaves, living plants can be hard to maintain in such a tank. Artificial plants and hunks of sunken wood work
well, as do acrylic or ceramic hideaways. Unlike most of its smaller cousins, however, the black shark also enjoys large
amounts of open water, as well as dense tangles of cover. I recommend that at least half the tank be dedicated to open
water and that pockets or islands of dense plant/wood structure be situated at intervals throughout the tank. This shark
also seems to enjoy a sandy substrate or one composed of very fine pebbles.
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”SoMeThInG’s PhIsHy”:
“Reading about baseball is a lot more interesting than reading about chess, but you have to wonder:
don't any of these guys ever go fishing?” - Dave Shiflett
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August 2014
Go Fish!:
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August 2014
RAS Sponsors:
<The following businesses give RAS club members discounts on purchases when displaying a valid
membership card. Please help support these stores. If you would like to become a club sponsor, just
contact the club secretary at [email protected] for more information.>
Animal Jungle (20% discount on dry goods)
4318 Holland Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23452; (757) 463-4065; www.animaljungle.com
Down Under Saltwater Fish & Coral (15% discount on dry goods, 20% discount on livestock)
1543 US Highway 70 West, Garner, NC 27529; (919) 662-8820; www.downundersaltwater.com
Fins, Furs, & Feathers Pet Center (10% discount on everything except tanks)
303 South Horner Boulevard, Sanford, NC 27330; (919) 718-0850;
Fins ‘N Fangs (10% discount on everything)
1490 Garner Station Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27603; (919) 615-0130;
Fintastic (10% discount on dry goods)
2135-C Ayrsley Town Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28273; (704) 525-0049; www.fintastic.us
Pet Mania (10% discount on everything)
7901-125 Falls Of Neuse Road, Raleigh, 27615; (919) 676-3225; www.petmanianc.com
5289 Sunset Lake Road, Holly Springs, NC, 27540; (919) 362-8711; www.petmanianc.com
924 Gateway Commons Circle, Wake Forest, NC, 27587; (919) 554-8898; www.petmanianc.com
Pet Market (50% discount on saltwater fish/coral purchases over $100.00)
5711-E West Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27409; (336) 253-1294; www.petmarket.co
Reef Keepers Aquarium (10% discount on everything)
1673 Old US Highway 70 West, Clayton, NC 27520; (919) 359-2424; www.reefkeepersaquarium.com
The Pet Pad (10% discount on everything)
1347 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, NC 27511; (919) 481-6614; www.petpadpets.com
© 2014 RAS (All Rights Reserved)
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August 2014
RAS Membership Application:
Membership in the Raleigh Aquarium Society entitles you to many privileges including:
• Discounts at all club functions.
• Voting rights on all club business issues.
• Auction benefits (larger commission split, free priority stickers).
• Membership discount card for purchases at all participating club sponsors.
• Ability to post items for sale in the club newsletter and YAHOO internet forum.
• Ability to participate in group orders of fish and supplies from various mail-order companies.
Annual RAS membership dues for individuals or families are $20.00 per year and are in effect
from January 1st to December 31st of the current calendar year. Payment is due by January
31st. When joining at any other time of the year, dues will be assessed at $5.00 plus $5.00 per
quarter for each quarter (whole or partial) remaining in the calendar year.
PLEASE PRINT LEGIBLY FOR ACCURACY!
Full Name:
(print & sign)
________________________________________________________________
Street Address:
________________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip:
________________________________________________________________
Telephone(s):
(day & night)
________________________________________________________________
E-mail Address:
________________________________________________________________
Favorite Fish:
________________________________________________________________
Payment Info:
date = _____/_____/_____; amount = $ ___________; type = CASH or CHECK
renewal? = YES or NO
Please mail (or email) this completed form to:
Club Secretary
The Raleigh Aquarium Society
Post Office Box 31564
Raleigh, NC 27612
(USA)
or give to the club secretary at any meeting. Thank you for your interest, support, and participation!
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